UPDATE: Bowling, school district face lawsuit over sex-with-minors scandal

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A man who claims he was molested by former Smithville coach Dwight Bowling filed a federal lawsuit against him and the Monroe County School Board.

Jason Carithers of Lee County, now an adult, wants actual damages, punitive damages and other costs associated with the legal action, according to the lawsuit filed late this week in U.S. District Court.

Carithers’ attorney, Donald Medley of Hattiesburg, alleges his client was sexually harrassed in violation to his right to equal protection. Carithers also seeks compensation under his constitutional right to due process – that he was entitled to personal security and “bodily integrity.

He also says the school district failed to properly supervise Bowling in “deliberate indifference” to his rights.

He claims Bowling molested him from 2004-2008 while he was a minor student at Smithville High School, where Bowling was a teacher and coach.

Last week, Bowling was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison on numerous state counts that he fondled and had oral sex with minor males in Monroe and Itawamba counties.

That sentence runs at the same time as a 25-year federal sentence on Bowling’s guilty pleas that he took minor males across state lines for sex and attempted to bribe a witness to lie about their long-time sexual relationship.

Carithers asks for a jury trial.

It wasn’t known whether other victims will do the same.

Bowling is in federal custody and could not be reached for comment. Neither could a representative for the school district.

For more details, read Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal or come back to NEMS360.com.